World in Focus (Aug-Sep 2014)

National & International News & MCQs

National

Aug 16: “Inqilab” and “Azadi” marches settled down in Islamabad, flexing their muscles in more ways than one.

Aug 16:
A sessions judge ordered Lahore police to register a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, several other PML-N leaders and some police officials over the June 17 Model Town incident.

Aug 16:
Leaders of the PPP, PML-N and religious minority groups launched a campaign in Sukkur and Ghotki districts against forced and underage marriages and religious extremism.

Aug 17:
Addressing a charged crowd that was all set to storm the ‘red zone’, PTI Chairman Imran Khan ordered his supporters to launch a civil disobedience movement against the government.

Aug 17:
Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Director General Samina Pervez launched a 100-kW digital transmitter at the Hyderabad Broadcasting House.

Aug 18:
New Delhi called off the Aug 25 meeting of foreign secretaries of the two countries because of Pakistani high commissioner’s consultative session with a Hurriyat leader.

Aug 19:
ISPR issued a statement after midnight that called on all stakeholders to exercise “patience, wisdom and sagacity in the larger national interest.”


Aug 19:
The government of Pakistan awarded Ali Meer, the Khabarnak star, the “Pride of Performance” award. Ali Meer, who is an IT graduate, started his career as creative manager at Geo News and created over 100 political cartoons.

Aug 20:
The Supreme Court asked Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri to appear before it to reply to a number of challenges filed against the sit-ins being staged on Constitution Avenue by their parties.

Aug 20:
The army refused to mediate between the government and the protesting parties to defuse the political crisis and instead asked both sides to work for a settlement on their own.

Aug 20:
Khwaja Shahad Ahmed, the recently-appointed chairman of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission, and eight members took oath of their respective offices.

The AJKPSC comprises a chairman and nine members.

Aug 20:
A judicial tribunal in Balochsitan, headed by a senior judge of the Balochistan High Court, Justice Noor Mohammad Maskanzai, assigned the task to investigate the discovery of 17 mutilated bodies from two mass graves in Totak area of Khuzdar district said in the report that security forces, intelligence agencies and the government were not found involved in the case.

Aug 20:
The Earthquake Memorial Bridge connecting Naluchi and Chattar on the banks of River Jhelum was opened for traffic. The project, funded by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), was completed in just over four years at a cost of Rs.1.5 billion.

Aug 21:
The Sindh police set up a fleet of 100 mobile vans equipped with surveillance cameras to help the law-enforcement agency record crime scenes while patrolling, snap-checking or raiding any criminal hideout.

Aug 22:
PTI parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, submitted the resignations of the party legislators to the Speaker’s office.

Aug 22:
The Baloch Human Rights Organisation (BHRO) and the banned Baloch Student Organisation-Azad (BSOA) rejected the Balochistan Judicial Tribunal’s report in the discovery of mass graves in Khuzdar area and appealed to the United Nations to find out the truth.

Aug 22:
Pakistan Navy inducted a second batch of Alouette Helicopters into its Fleet Air Arm.
Aug 23: A treason case was registered against Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Mr Abdul Basit, and Hurriyat leader Shabir Ahmed Shah in India on the orders of Allahabad CGM court.

Aug 26:
The battered Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan suffered a huge blow with the emergence of a new group of militants, named Jamaatul Ahrar, within it.

Aug 26:
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved a sovereign guarantee for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to acquire a Rs1 billion loan for Hajj operations and allowed an increased tariff for import of 74MW electricity from Iran.

Aug 26:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif witnessed the signing ceremony of a financing agreement of $588.4 million with the World Bank relating to development of Dasu Hydropower Project. Another agreement for $76.4 million financing was signed for Sindh Agricultural Growth Project.

Aug 26:
The one-member judicial commission investigating the June 17 Model Town incident held the government responsible for the tragedy. The report said the affidavits of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former law minister Rana Sanaullah contained contradictions regarding the orders they reportedly issued to police to disengage, and declared police acted on government orders.

Aug 27:
The PTI submitted resignations of 28 of its 30 members of the Punjab assembly.

Aug 28:
Security forces got freed Prof Ajmal Khan, Vice Chancellor of the Islamia University Peshawar, four years after his abduction by the Taliban militants.

Aug 28:
The Balochistan Assembly unanimously adopted the Balochistan Prohibition of Private Money Lending Bill, 2014.
The bill was tabled by Minister for Information and Law Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal.

Aug 28:
European Union lifted the temporary cargo ban imposed on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) cargo shipments to Europe.

Aug 29:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he had not sought the army chief’s intervention to break the deadlock in talks with protesting parties.

Aug 29:
The Inter-Services Public Relations clarified that, in fact, the government had asked Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to “facilitate” negotiations with the protesting PTI and PAT.

Aug 29:
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) became the first airline in South Asia to achieve the two high aviation standards after it acquired approval of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 145 and 147.

Sep 01:
A mob of protesters from the PTI and PAT sit-ins stormed the headquarters of Pakistan Television (PTV) and forced its staff to take two of the state broadcaster’s flagship channels PTV News and PTV World off the air.
Sep 01: All of PTI representatives in the Sindh Assembly filed their resignations in the assembly secretariat.

Sep 01:
Five cases were registered against the leaders and activists of the PTI and the PAT on different charges, including sedition, murder attempt and terrorism. More than 200 activists were arrested from the Constitution Avenue and hospitals.

Sep 01:
Police inserted section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and three more sections of the Pakistan Penal Code into the FIR about the June 17 Model Town incident lodged against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and 19 others.

Sep 01:
The World Bank approved $47.95 million to help Pakistan improve nutrition status of its children under the age of two years, and of pregnant and lactating women in targeted areas.

The money is meant for the Enhanced Nutrition for Mothers and Children project specifically targeting women and the relatively high proportion of stunting that occurs during pregnancy. It will also be used to support the scaling up of well-proven maternal nutrition interventions for women of childbearing age and sharpening the nutrition focus of antenatal visits and provision of daily iron folic acid supplementation during pregnancy.

Sep 04:
Fifty-two people, three soldiers among them, were killed and over 90 others injured as torrential rain wreaked havoc in north-eastern Punjab and Kashmir, causing a very high flood in river Chenab. A number of cities received over 130mm of rain.

Sep 04:
A Sessions Court acquitted former interior minister Rehman Malik in a dual nationality case. On a directive of the apex court, the election commission had filed complaints against Mr Malik and other legislators in 2012 for filing false declarations along with their nomination papers for elections to conceal their dual nationality.

Sep 04:
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq accepted the resignation of estranged PTI leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi.

Sep 05:
The PPP launched a wing to carry out relief work during natural disasters and emergencies. The setting up of the party’s ‘social services wing’ was announced by PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Sep 05:
PPP Co-Chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari appointed Sherry Rehman as a member of Central Executive Committee of the Party.

Sep 06:
Officials in Islamabad and Beijing announced the postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan.

Sep 07:
Hundreds of thousands of people were marooned, their houses submerged and livestock washed away as the river Chenab in ‘super flood’ hit 600 villages in Gujranwala and Sialkot regions.

Sep 07:
Girls bagged all top three positions in the entrance test 2014 for admissions to medical and dental colleges of Punjab, according to results announced by the University of Health Sciences (UHS).

A total of 44,243 candidates appeared in the entrance test held on August 31, out of whom 19,231 scored 60 per cent and above marks. As many as 6,377 scored 50 to 59pc whereas 6,395 secured 40 to 49pc marks.

Sep 07:
A report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) revealed that one in 10 girls globally – 120 million – have been sexually abused, with violence against children taking increasingly insidious forms. The report, ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Statistical Analysis of Violence against Children’, surveys 190 countries, including Pakistan, and surveys boys and girls aged up to 19 years.

Sep 08:
The Pakistan Navy foiled a militant attack on one of its facilities in Karachi. Two militants were killed in the raid while four of the attackers were captured leading to more arrests in other parts of the country.

Sep 08:
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) observed International Vulture Awareness Day 2014 at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU).

WWF regards the white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) as one of its priority species for conservation. This specie has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) headquartered at Gland, Switzerland.

Sep 09:
At least 20 people were killed and seven injured when the structure of a double story mosque-cum-seminary partially collapsed in the congested Daroghawala locality.

Sep 09:
The embassy of Netherlands and the Pakistan Baitul Maal (PBM) signed an MoU for establishing a vocational training centre in Timergarah Jail in Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the empowerment of women.

Sep 11:
The Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP) launched a water management programme in Qila Abdullah district at an estimated cost of Rs70 million with the assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Sep 12:
A meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved Rs33 billion for an emergency plan to eradicate polio,  the crippling disease.

Sep 12:
The army announced the arrest of all 10 Taliban terrorists involved in the attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

Sep 12:
A Unicef report titled “Improving Children’s Lives: Transforming the Future,” said that a baby dies every three minutes in Pakistan, with more than 350,000 children in Pakistan dying before the age of five. Of these deaths, 20 per cent are caused by pneumonia, even though Pakistan was first among South Asian countries to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine.

The report marks 25 years since the General Assembly of the UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Sep 13:
Maulana Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Punjab, said that his group had decided to abandon its armed struggle in Pakistan and instead would focus on “peaceful struggle” for the implementation of Shariah.

Sep 13:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared all the flood-affected areas as calamity-hit and said the population of these areas would be steered out of the current miseries caused by flash floods.

Sep 14:
‘International Day of Democracy’ was observed in Pakistan and across the world.

Sep 15:
Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) announced discovery of hydrocarbons from exploratory well Adam West X-1 in Hala Block.

Sep 15:
The executive board of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) approved an inquiry against former chief minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income during his tenure as chief minister Balochistan to the tune of Rs 4.4 billion (approximately) and also for allegedly misusing his authority and causing huge loss to the national exchequer.

Sports

Aug 16:
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) outclassed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in the final of All Pakistan NBP Hockey Tournament.

Aug 18:
Pakistan’s top internationals, Rashid-ul-Ghazi and Tehsin Gheewala won the Nishan-i-Haider Pairs Bridge Tournament.

Aug 18:
Former diplomat Shaharyar Khan was elected chief of Pakistan Cricket Board for a three-year term. He is the 30th chairman of the PCB but the only one to have a second tenure. He previously had held the post between December 2003 and October 2006.

Aug 23:
Najam Sethi and Shakil Sheikh, both journalists, were named to lead two powerful committees of the Governing Board (GB) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Three committees titled Executive, Cricket and Grassroots were formed at the 30th meeting of the Governing Board.

Sep 01:
Three Pakistanis; president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Akhtar Rasool, Secretary Rana Mujahid and a high-profile coach of Pakistani origin Tayyab Ikram were elected to important posts during the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) elections held in Kuala Lumpur.

Sep 01:
Special Olympics Pakistan celebrated the fourth annual Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day to pay tribute to the founder of the Special Olympics world body.

Sep 09:
Top-ranked Pakistani off spinner Saeed Ajmal was suspended indefinitely from international cricket for an illegal bowling action.

Sep 12:
Muneeb Shafiq of Sindh created three new national records in under-12 category of the 19th National Boys Age Group Swimming Championship.

Sep 14:
History was made in Pakistan tennis as the three grandchildren of former Subcontinent legend late Kh Iftikhar Ahmad (undefeated national champion 1947-61) represented Pakistan in Davis Cup tie against Thailand.

Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Samir Iftikhar, members of Davis Cup squad are sons of Mrs Nosheen Eithisham (daughter) and Tayyab Iftikhar (son) while Miss Ushna Suhail, FFC Sports Ambassador and Ladies National Champion, daughter of Kh Suhail Iftikhar (son) would represent the country in Asian games.
Obituaries

Aug 18:
A renowned professor of cardiology and Chairperson of NJ University of Medicine and Dentistry and Head of Medicine, Dr Bunyad Haider, passed away.

Aug 19:
Pakistan’s first-ever world champion in any sport, squash star Hashim Khan died in the United States. He was 100.
Hashim Khan had won the sport’s premier title, the British Open, seven times between 1951 and 1958.

Aug 27:
Prominent poet of Balochi language Ghulam Rasool Mulla, a.k.a. G.R Mulla, who was known for his nationalistic and revolutionary poetry, passed away. He was 75.

Aug 29:
Senior journalist and editor of Weekly Quetta Times, Ghulam Tahir, died. He was 86.

Sep 04:
Leading ghazal and playback singer Habib Wali Mohammad passed away at the age of 93. He was best known for his film ghazal ‘Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo’ that catapulted him to widespread recognition. Making his appearance at a time when ghazal singing was getting popular all over again during the 1960s and 1970s, Habib Wali Mohammad’s singing style held a certain kind of appeal that was simpler and more accessible to the listeners.

Sep 04:
Veteran actor Maqsood Hassan passed away in Karachi.

Sep 05:
Former Pakistan Test umpire Ferozeuddin Butt died. He was 72.

Sep 06:
Allama Ali Akbar Kumaili, a Shia cleric and son of former senator and Jaffaria Alliance Pakistan chief, Allama Abbas Kumaili, was killed in Azizabad area of Karachi.

Sep 07:
Sarshar Siddiqui, a poet whose initial work was filled with scepticism but later on he composed religious verses, died aged 88.

Sep 07:
Former Sindh Ombudsman Yusuf Jamal died. He was 76.

Mr Jamal made a record by securing the highest marks in the CSP examination in which he appeared in 1963 after completing post-graduation in political science from the University of Karachi. The record remains unbreakable till this day.

During Gen Ziaul Haq’s rule, he resigned from the government service but later on Mairaj Khalid appointed him as member of the Sindh Public Service Commission after becoming prime minister of Pakistan.

Sep 08:
Former MNA Mir Inayat Ali Talpur, died of cancer. He was 62.

Sep 10:
Dr Masood Baig, a seminary teacher and son-in-law of Jamia Binoria Al-Almia’s founding chief Mufti Mohammed Naeem, was killed in an attack.

Sep 10:
Parveen Saeed Haroon, the daughter of Allah Nawaz Khan and wife of Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon’s youngest son, Saeed Haroon, passed away. She
was 81.

Sep 12:
Malik Anwar Ali Noon, veteran politician and former MNA, passed away. He was 90.

Sep 15:
Dr S.M. Rab, the longest serving physician of the country, passed away in Karachi. He was 85.

Economy

Aug 21:
The Port Qasim Authority (PQA) signed an Implementation Agreement (IA) with a Chinese company to allot 200 acres of land for the development of two coal-based power plants of 660 megawatt each.

Aug 25:
The government awarded a licence to Canada’s Tallahassee Resources Inc. for exploration of oil and gas resources in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Aug 27:
A joint Pakistan-Germany business platform called Pakistan GATE (German Association Trade and Economy) for the further development of trade and investment projects was launched in Berlin.

The Pakistan Embassy in Berlin and the German Embassy in Islamabad will serve as patrons through the respective ambassadors, Syed Hasan Javed and Cyrill Nunn.

Aug 28:
Telenor Pakistan signed an agreement with its emergency response partner, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS), to mitigate the impact of disasters through an SMS-based early warning system.

Aug 28:
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Manila to form a business council of both countries.

Sep 03:
According to the ‘Global Competitiveness Report’ 2014-15 released by the WEF, Pakistan’s competitiveness among global economies has slightly improved to 129 out of 144 in rankings published yearly by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The country was ranked 133 out of 148 in 2013-14, 124 out of 144 in 2012-13, and 118 out of 142 in 2011-12.

Sep 04:
Pakistan assumed charge of the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a period of three years.

Sep 11:
The Businessmen Group for the sixth consecutive term swept All Pakistan Textile Mills Association’s (Aptma) annual elections for 2014-15.
Mr S.M. Tanveer would be the central chairman, Seth Mohammad Akber Punjab zone chairman while other office bearers and all zonal members, belonging to the Businessmen Group, were declared elected unopposed for the next term.

Sep 11:
According to details of the agreement signed by the State Bank and the World Bank, the latter will help the SBP design a framework for coordinating and implementing the strategy.
The State Bank will pay $500,314 to the World Bank for the preparation of the strategy. The agreement will expire on February 28, 2015.

Sep 12:
Syed Asad Haider Mashadi of Mian Pervaiz Aslam Group was elected unopposed as President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) for the year 2014-15.

Transfers & Postings

Aug 18:
The Punjab government appointed Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department Additional IG Captain (retired) Amin Wains as the new CCPO Lahore. Mr Wains has replaced DIG Chaudhry Shafique Ahmad who was removed from the post in connection with June 17 Model Town carnage.

Aug 22:
Rear Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Rear Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini were promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral with immediate effect.

Sep 01:
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Tahir Alam Khan was appointed as the DIG Operations and was also given the additional charge of the inspector general of the police (IGP). The post of DIG operations had been lying vacant since three years.

Sep 01:
Justice Qazi Faaiz Essa was appointed as judge in the Supreme Court. The Judicial Commission had recommended him for posting as judge of the apex court. The Parliamentary Committee also approved it.

Sep 07:
The Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court, Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal, appointed the District and Sessions Judge (Inspection) Quetta, Imtiaz Hussain, registrar of the High Court of Balochistan.

Sep 11:
The federal government issued the notification of the appointment of Ghulam Haider Jamil as the Inspector of Police Sindh.

Sep 15:
The provincial government appointed Dr Farhat Saleemi as the vice-chancellor of the Government College Women University, Lahore.

People & Places

ASMA SHIRAZI

On Aug 22, Asma Shirazi, a renowned journalist and TV anchor, was awarded the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.

HASHAM HADI KHAN

On Aug 23,
the youngest member of Pakistan scrabble contingent taking part in the 6th Sri Lanka International Scrabble Championship created a new world record by scoring an eye-popping 878 points against Matheesha De Silva of Sri Lanka.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest score ever recorded in a scrabble match was made by Toh Wei Bin of Singapore who scored 850 against Rick Kennedy of Scotland in 2012. No score of 800 plus has been witnessed in an international tournament.

MOHAMMAD AFZAL KHAN


On Aug 24,
Mohammad Afzal Khan, a former official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) who was directly involved in the preparations for and execution of the general elections of 2013, alleged that the general elections were ‘massively rigged’ and pointed the finger squarely at former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and retired Justice Riaz Ahmed Kiani, the ECP member from Punjab.

REEMA ABBASI


On Aug 31,
a Pakistani journalist and author of ‘Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience,’ Reema Abbasi, was honoured as the best literary personality of the year at the Fifth Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Awards held in New Delhi.

MEHRAN SATTAR, IQRA KHALID & KAINAT ZULQADAR


On Sep 12,
Mehran Sattar, son of a fruit-seller, Iqra Khalid, daughter of an iron merchant and Kainat Zulqadar, daughter of an expatriate, clinched the first three positions in the intermediate examination conducted by BISE Multan.

LARKANA


On Aug 19,
a seminar ‘Provincial policy dialogue on early marriages and domestic violence’ was held in Larkana where speakers called for establishing committees at district level to ensure implementation of laws protecting women’s rights and curbing underage marriages.
The seminar was held under the auspices of a non-governmental organisation, Shirkatgah.

KARACHI


On Aug 25,
the three-day workshop on ‘Bio-invasion and ballast water management’ was organised by Saarc Coastal Zone Management Centre in collaboration with Climate Change Division.

Experts from Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan also attended the event.

ISLAMABAD


On Aug 28,
a public defence of a PhD thesis titled, “Role of Maritime Strategy in National Security: A Case Study of Gwadar” was held at National Defence University, Islamabad. Cdr (r) Azhar Ahmad highlighted the importance of his research and convinced the audience about the need of paying more attention to the maritime sector.

LAHORE


On Aug 28,
USAID-funded assessment and strengthening programme organised a two-day conference on “Public Sector Leadership in 21st Century Pakistan; Challenges and Best Practices” kicked off at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

ISLAMABAD


On Sep 15,
a roundtable conference was held at Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), Islamabad where the speakers said that Pakistan should not look towards any other Muslim country for adopting a governance system as its indigenous model is perfect. Rights activist Tahira Abdullah mediated the session.
The dialogue series ‘Governance, community and religion’ is a joint effort of the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), Islamabad.

International

Aug 16:
The death toll from landslides and flooding triggered by torrential monsoon rains in Nepal and northern India climbed to at least 109.

Aug 16:
Sri Lanka’s defence minister was directed by a court to suspend the decision to deport those registered with the UNHCR, granting interim relief to asylum seekers and refugees from Pakistan.

Aug 16
: A man died after 35-people, including several children, were found inside a shipping container being unloaded at a dock in eastern England. People are believed to be from the Indian Subcontinent.

Aug 17:
According to the ranking compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, Harvard University retained the top spot in the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities, a position it has held for the past 12 years. Stanford University was second, followed by, in order, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Cambridge.

The United States had 146 universities in the top 500, followed by Germany with 39, Britain with 38 and China, excluding Hong Kong, with 32.

Aug 19:
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the appointment of Ahmer Bilal Soofi of Pakistan and Avdash Kaushal of India to the panel of advisers to the Commission on Missing Persons and War Crimes set up by the Sri Lankan government.

Aug 20:
Militants belonging to the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, released a video showing the beheading of an American journalist, James Foley, kidnapped in Syria.

Aug 20
: A US judge ruled that Manmohan Singh is immune from allegations that he “supported genocide of Sikhs” during his tenure as head of Indian government but does not enjoy “head of state immunity” for claims arising from his tenure as finance minister, from 1991 to 1996.

Aug 20:
India removed the chief executive of its film censorship board, Mr Rakesh Kumar, after he was arrested on accusations of taking 70,000 rupees as bribe to clear a movie for screening.

Aug 21:
The United States offered new rewards for information on leading to the location of Aziz Haqqani, Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani and Abdul Rauf Zakir; four key leaders of the Haqqani Network and also increased a previously announced reward offer for information about the group’s current leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Programme announced that the government had authorised $5 million rewards of up to each for information.

Aug 21:
Indonesia’s highest court unanimously upheld the recent presidential election result, paving the way for Joko Widodo to take over as leader of the world’s third largest democracy.

Aug 21:
A giant flag in support of Palestinians in Gaza was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge.

Aug 21:
The Indian government blocked the release of a controversial film, “Kaum De Heere”, or “Diamonds Of The Community,” on the assassination of former premier Indira Gandhi after calls grew for it to be banned for glorifying her killers.

The film tells the story of Indira Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards who shot the premier dead in 1984 apparently in revenge for a military operation that killed hundreds of Sikhs.

Aug 21:
Turkey’s ruling party chose Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to be the new prime minister.

Aug 21:
The United States designated Pakistan-based hawala group, Haji Basir and Zarjmil Company and, its owner, Haji Abdul Basir, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists for providing financial services or other support to the Taliban.

Aug 21:
Thailand’s coup leader and army chief, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, was elected prime minister by the kingdom’s junta-appointed legislature.

Aug 21:
Outgoing UN rights chief Navi Pillay rebuked the UN Security Council for putting short-term geopolitical concerns and narrowly-defined national interests ahead of intolerable human suffering and grave breaches of global peace and security.

Aug 22:
Militiamen gunned down 70 people in an apparent revenge attack at an Iraqi mosque. The shooting took place in the Hamreen area of Diyala province.

Aug 22:
South African wildlife authorities said they have found dozens of dead jackals at a popular game park in the country’s “worst” ever incident of poisoning.

Aug 22:
The ice bucket challenge’s phenomenal success is making other charitable organisations rethink how they connect with a younger generation of potential donors. Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign’s progress on July 29, it has raised more than $53.3 million from 1.1 million new donors in what is one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history.

Aug 22:
The Pentagon violated US law when it controversially swapped a soldier held in captivity for five years in Afghanistan for five Taliban detainees without giving lawmakers sufficient notice, congressional investigators said.

The Pentagon used $988,400 of its wartime funding for the transfer that freed Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.

Aug 23:
Almost 200,000 people have been killed in Syria since the country fell into conflict in 2011, according to a report by UN Human Rights Commission released in Geneva.

A total of 191,369 people were killed between March 2011, when the conflict erupted, and April 2014, according to the report.

Aug 23:
An Indian woman is thought to have had the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy after doctors removed the skeleton of a baby that had been inside her for nearly four decades. Kantabai Thakre became pregnant at the age of 24, in 1978. At the time doctors warned the expectant mother her unborn child had little chance of survival, after it was found to be growing outside of her womb.

Terrified at the thought of an operation, she fled and sought treatment for the pain at a small clinic.

Aug 25:
Libya’s outgoing parliament voted to replace the current interim government, deepening the conflict torn country’s already stark divisions and leaving it with two rival parliaments and governments.

Aug 25:
Islamic State militants stormed an airbase in northeast Syria, capturing it from government forces.

Aug 25:
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls presented his government’s resignation, a day after Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg called for new economic policies and questioned neighbour Germany’s “obsession” with budgetary rigour.

Valls was asked by President Francois Hollande to form a new team only four months ago but has continually had to reconcile policy differences between leftists such as Montebourg and more centrist members of his Socialist-led government.

Aug 26:
The United Nations Children’s Fund undertook the largest emergency supply operation in the organisation’s history in a single month by shipping 1,000 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies for children caught in the world’s most urgent crises.

Aug 26:
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine sat down for talks, meeting face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed Ukraine’s separatist east.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

Aug 26:
A Jewish centre in Mumbai that was stormed by heavily armed militants during 2008 Mumbai attacks reopened.

Aug 26:
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal met with a senior Iranian official to discuss regional developments and the fight against Islamic State jihadists.

The visit by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to the city of Jeddah was the first by a high-level official from Iran to Saudi Arabia since Hassan Rouhani became the Islamic republic’s president in August last year.

Aug 26:
A long-term ceasefire was agreed to by Israel and the Palestinians, ending 50 days of the deadliest violence in a decade.
The agreement involves an immediate halt to the violence in Gaza, which began on July 8 and has claimed the lives of 2,143 Palestinians and 69 on the Israeli side.

Aug 27:
IMF chief Christine Lagarde was put under formal investigation by French magistrates for alleged negligence in a political fraud affair dating from 2008 when she was finance minister.

Aug 27:
India’s top court said lawmakers with criminal backgrounds should not serve in government, with 13 ministers in the current administration facing charges for attempted murder, rioting and other offences.

The ruling shines a spotlight on Narendra Modi and his cabinet.

Aug 27:
Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election veered further off course after both candidates withdrew their observers from a UN-supervised audit of votes.

Aug 28:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt married in the French hamlet of Correns.

Aug 28:
Syrian armed groups, some of whom are linked to Al Qaeda, captured 43 UN peacekeepers on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and surrounded 81 others.
The 43 peacekeepers from Fiji were forced to surrender their weapons and taken hostage near the Quneitra crossing, but 81 Filipino blue helmets “held their
ground” and refused to disarm.

Aug 28:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey’s president, cementing his position as its most powerful leader of recent times.

Aug 29:
The United States delivered an emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon’s military as part of a broader regional effort to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists.

The Lebanese government had requested the weapons after militants from Syria attacked the Lebanese border town of Arsal, killing and kidnapping soldiers and police.

Aug 29:
The number of refugees from the Syrian conflict had topped three million, the UN said.

In Geneva, UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres said Syria had become the “biggest humanitarian emergency of our era” after a million people joined the exodus in the past year alone.

Aug 30:
Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane fled after soldiers seized power in a coup, despite the military denying it overthrew the tiny mountain kingdom’s government.

Aug 30:
Myanmar’s first census in three decades shows the country has a population of 51 million people.

Sep 01:
A Sri Lankan court gave permission to authorities to send back scores of Pakistani asylum seekers.

Sep 01:
Japan and India agreed to strengthen defence relations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi also agreed to speed up talks on a so-far elusive deal on nuclear energy cooperation, welcoming what they called “significant progress” in the negotiations.

Sep 01:
North Korea test-fired a short-range missile into the sea off its east coast in the latest of a series of missile and rocket tests.

Sep 01:
US President Barack Obama formally notified Congress that he had authorized targeted air strikes in Iraq to help deliver a humanitarian aid to the besieged shi’ite town of Amerli.

Sep 02:
The High Court in Indian state Himachal Pradesh banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and “barbaric”.

The Court asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter of mainly goats in Hindu temples throughout the state.

Sep 02:
Iran unveiled a new surface-to-air missile, the Talash-3, and two radar systems to improve its defences.

Sep 02:
Sudan ordered Iran to close its cultural centres and given their managers 72 hours to leave the country.

Sep 03:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named five female ministers to country’s 18-strong cabinet.

Sep 03:
Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri declared in a video message that the global Islamist extremist movement has launched a new branch to lead its struggle in the Subcontinent.

Sep 04:
Despite remarkable economic growth, governance remains a concern in Asia and the Pacific. The rapid growth has lifted millions out of poverty, yet the region continues to face governance deficits that constrain its ability to raise the quality of growth, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in an evaluation report.

Sep 04:
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres proposed a new global peace initiative to Pope Francis: A “United Nations of Religions,” given that most wars today have religious, not nationalistic, undercurrents.

Sep 05:
Conservative leaders Tony Abbott of Australia and Narendra Modi of India sealed a long-awaited nuclear energy deal, paving the way for Australia to sell uranium to India, crippled by power shortages and blackouts.

Sep 05:
Nato leaders agreed to set up a new rapid reaction “spearhead” force and to maintain a “continuous” presence in an eastern Europe rattled by Russian moves in Ukraine.

Sep 06:
The government of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu won a vote of confidence in parliament.

Sep 07:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — the first Japanese prime minister to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years — and Sri Lanka’s president agreed to forge stronger maritime links between their two countries.

Sep 09:
One of two British explorer ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, that disappeared in the Arctic more than 160 years ago were found.

Sep 09:
The Group of 77 plus China, the coalition of developing countries at the United Nations, decided to take collective action against US banks which cancelled accounts of more than 70 overseas diplomatic missions.

Sep 11:
The United States concluded a deal with key Arab nations to launch a coordinated military campaign against the militants of the ISIS.

Sep 11:
The Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, was acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, but the South African celebrity athlete still faces judgement on a lesser culpable homicide charge.

Sep 11:
The West hit Russia with new sanctions over its role in the Ukraine conflict after Kiev admitted losing more ground to the rebels.

Sep 11:
MasterCard lost its challenge at Europe’s highest court against an EU ban on its cross-border card fees.

Sep 12:
Retired US Marine general John Allen, former commander of American forces in Afghanistan, was appointed coordinator of the international effort against the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS).

Sep 12:
The worst-ever Ebola outbreak killed more than 2,400 people, the UN said, as Cuba pledged the largest foreign medical team deployed so far in the west African health crisis.

World Health Organisation chief Margaret Chan warned the spiralling epidemic of the murderous tropical virus demanded a stronger, faster response from the international community.

Sep 12:
German authorities banned all activity on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group, including the distribution of propaganda material and the display of its symbols.

The decree issued closes a legal gap that made it difficult to prosecute Islamic State supporters in Germany.

Sep 12:
A Great Dane from Michigan that held the title of world’s tallest dog died at age 5.

Sep 12:
Pakistan and India filed formal applications for the full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). At present, Iran, Pakistan and India are the SCO observer countries. Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the permanent members of the organisation. SCO partners are Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

Sep 12:
Nearly half of all girls in South Asia marry before they turn 18, according to a United Nations report that lays bare what it calls “glaring inequalities”.
The report, published by the UN children’s agency UNICEF, also revealed that more than a million newborn babies still die every year in the region, often due to inadequate healthcare.

Sep 13:
A convoy of more than 200 white trucks crossed the Russian border to deliver humanitarian aid to a battered Ukrainian city, a move made without Kiev’s consent yet met with silence by Ukraine`s top leaders.

Sep 15:
About 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese died after human traffickers rammed a vessel into their boat and it sank off the Malta coast, the International Organisation for Migration said.

Sep 15:
Google launched a $105 smartphone in India, taking aim at emerging markets as part of an initiative called Android One.

Sep 15:
A new UN mission officially took charge of peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, with the tough task of ending ethnic and religious bloodshed there and helping bring back stability.

The 7,600-strong UN force known by its French acronym MINUSCA took over from a smaller UN Security Council-mandated African deployment, MISCA, which was stationed in the country since December, alongside 2,000 French soldiers.

Sports

Aug 16:
Belarus’ Maryna Arzamasova overtook Britain’s Lynsey Sharp to win the women’s 800m final at the European Championships.
Christelle Daunay of France also broke away from Italian Valeria Straneo in the final stages of the women’s marathon to win gold.

Aug 17:
England defeated India to win the fifth Test by a crushing innings and 244 runs at The Oval and clinched the series 3-1.

Aug 18:
Sri Lanka won the second and final Test against Pakistan by 105 runs to sweep the series 2-0.

Aug 18:
Roger Federer won an unprecedented sixth championship in Cincinnati when he defeated David Ferrer in the Western & Southern Open.

Aug 18:
Serena Williams beat Ana Ivanovic to win the Western & Southern Open ladies’ title.

Aug 19:
Quinton de Kock, the 21-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman of South Africa, equalled the mark of England’s Jonathan Trott in reaching the landmark of 1,000 runs in only 21 ODI games.

Aug 23
: In a successful second edition of the Youth Olympic Games swimming programme, a total of 20 new World Junior records were established, 16 in individual and four in relay events.

Aug 26:
Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo both scored centuries in a record breaking third wicket partnership as West Indies crushed Bangladesh to wrap-up a 3-0 one-day series win.

The pair put on 258, a record for a third-wicket partnership in a One-day International, and the joint eighth highest one day partnership of any kind.

Aug 28:
The second Youth Olympics concluded after a spectacular closing ceremony and a glowing endorsement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The sporting competition, which involved almost 4,000 athletes aged between 14 and 18, ended with the host nation finishing as the most successful country with 38 golds.

Aug 28:
Howard Warner of New Zealand reigned supreme in the second World Senior Scrabble Championship.

Aug 28:
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as captain of England Football Team. He will replace Steven Gerrard.

Aug 29:
Indian players topped the medals table of the South Asian Cadet and Junior Table Tennis Championships, which concluded at the Pakistan Sports Complex.

India clinched 10 gold and four silver medals followed by Sri Lanka which won four silver and eight bronze medals.

Sep 06:
South Africa won a first-ever tournament final against Australia.

Sep 07
: Japan’s Kei Nishikori became the first Asian man to make a Grand Slam final — in the US Open.

Sep 08:
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan became the first doubles pair to win 100 titles together after they beat Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the US Open final.

The world number one duo broke the 11th seeds once in each set to claim their fifth US Open title and take their 16th grand slam title together.

Sep 08:
World number one Serena Williams capped her dominant run to a third consecutive US Open championship, overpowering Caroline Wozniacki to move up in the record books with her 18th Grand Slam crown.

Sep 09:
Marin Cilic won his first major final, beating Kei Nishikori of Japan at the US Open.
Obituaries

Aug 20:
BKS Iyengar, the Indian yoga guru credited with helping to fuel a global explosion in the popularity of the ancient spiritual practice, died aged 95.

Aug 21:
Former Irish premier, Albert Reynolds, a central figure in the Northern Ireland peace process who helped broker the 1994 IRA ceasefire, died aged 81.

Aug 22:
Acclaimed Indian writer Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy, famed for his novels and poems, died at the age of 82.

Aug 23:
Former Jamaican umpire Douglas Sang Hue died aged 82 in Kingston. In a career spanning more than 25 years, Sang Hue umpired 31 Tests in the West Indies, as well as an ODI featuring Pakistan in Kingston in 1988.

Aug 25:
British actor and film director Richard Attenborough, who appeared in films such as Brighton Rock, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park, in a career spanning six decades, died at the age of 90.

Sep 02:
South African Norman Gordon, who was the oldest former Test cricketer, died aged 103 in Johannesburg.

Sep 04:
Acerbic comedian Joan Rivers died in New York. She was 81.

Sep 11:
Richard Kiel, who played the towering steel-toothed baddie “Jaws” in two James Bond movies, died. He was 74.

Sep 12:
Former Northern Irish first minister Ian Paisley, the firebrand Protestant leader who struck a power sharing deal with former foes Sinn Fein, died at the age of 88.

Sep 14:
Japanese actress and singer Yoshiko ‘Shirley’ Yamaguchi, who was nearly executed in China at the end of World War II, died at the age of 94.

Science

Aug 21:
After a remarkable analysis of bacterial DNA from 1,000-year-old mummies, scientists have proposed a new hypothesis for how tuberculosis arose and spread around the world.

The disease originated less than 6,000 years ago in Africa, they say, and took a surprising route to reach the New World: It was carried across the Atlantic by seals.

Sep 04:
The Milky Way galaxy resides on the outskirts of a massive, previously unknown galaxy super-cluster, named Laniakea, from Hawaiian words for “immeasurable heaven.”

The discovery stems from a new mapping technique that combines not only the distances between more than 8,000 nearby galaxies, but also their relative motions.

Sep 10:
Earth’s protective but fragile ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a UN scientific panel reported in a rare piece of good news about the health of the planet. Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

In 1974, Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland wrote a scientific study forecasting the ozone depletion problem. They won the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work.

The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Man-made chlorofluorocarbons, called CFCs, released chlorine and bromine, which destroyed ozone molecules high in the air.

People & Places

LAV DIAZ, PHILIPPINES

On Aug 16, a five-and-a-half-hour film from the Philippines “From What Is Before”, directed by Lav Diaz, scooped the coveted Golden Leopard prize at the Locarno film festival in Switzerland.

Clocking in at 338 minutes, the black-and-white film beat 16 other films to the festival’s top prize.

SAKARI MOMOI, JAPAN

On Aug 20, Sakari Momoi, a former high school principal in Japan, who was born on February 5, 1903, months before the Wright brothers carried out the first human flight, was recognised as the world’s oldest male at the age of 111 by the Guinness World Records.

JOHANNES DAHSE & THORSTEN HOLZ

On Aug 21,
Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defence Prize to Johannes Dahse and Thorsten Holz from Ruhr-Universitdt Bochum in Germany; the two German researchers who devised a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

MILEY CYRUS


On Aug 25,
a famous American diva Miley Cyrus won the award for “Video of the Year” for her hit single “Wrecking Ball,” at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.

MAY MYAT NOE


On Aug 29,
May Myat Noe, a Myanmar beauty queen and the winner of Miss Asia Pacific World Super Talent 2014, who was dethroned for alleged misconduct, absconded with her crown.

MOHAMMAD REZA RAHIMI


On Sep 01,
Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran’s first vice president under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was sentenced to prison to become the most senior official from that era to be convicted.

RATU ATUT CHOSIYAH


On Sep 01,
Indonesia’s first female provincial leader, and head of one of the country’s most powerful political dynasties, Ratu Atut Chosiyah, was jailed for four years for bribing a top judge over an election dispute.

ROY ANDERSSON, SWEDEN


On Sep 06,
Sweden’s Roy Andersson won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for his absurdist feature “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.”

His film, a series of bleakly comic vignettes, had some critics in raptures but left others scratching their heads.

MAHELA JAYAWARDENE


On Aug 18,
Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene ended his glittering test career that spanned 17 years.

ANKARA, TURKEY


On Aug 26,
thousands of people formed the world’s largest portrait of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic. At least 6,000 volunteers gathered outside the Anitkabir mausoleum, Ataturk’s final resting place, to form the larger-than-life portrait for an event marking Turkey’s Victory.

BERLIN


On Aug 28,
the German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted the ‘West Balkan Conference’ at the chancellery. The conference was convened to thrash out measures to bring about economy prosperity and political stability in the South-East European region.

NAIROBI, KENYA


On Sep 02,
African leaders and delegates attended the Africa Union Peace and Security Council Summit on Terrorism held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

NEW YORK, USA


On Sep 08,
key discoveries about breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease and the body’s handling of defective proteins earned prestigious medical awards, the Lasker Award, for five scientists.

The Award, established in 1942, is presented by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. Each prize includes a $250,000 honorarium. The winners of this year are:

For Clinical Medical Research


1.
Dr Mahlon DeLong of Emory University, Atlanta, USA

2.
Dr Alim Louis Benabid of Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France

Special Achievement in Medical Science


1.
Mary-Claire King of the University of Washington, Seattle, USA

For Basic Medical Research


1.
Peter Walter of the University of California, San Francisco, USA

2.
Kazutoshi Mori of Kyoto University, Japan

ARGENTINA


On Sep 10,
authorities in Argentina moved to stop any more kids being called ‘Messi’ amid concerns that the situation could get out of control.
Parents who wish to name their children after Barcelona star Lionel Messi will now be prohibited from doing so in his home city.

CULLINAN, SOUTH AFRICA


On Sep 09,
a 232-carat white diamond worth as much as $20 million was discovered in Cullinan, east of Pretoria at a South African mine famed for its big-gem finds.

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